How do I further the Kingdom of Christ?


We are faced with some very fundamental questions in life,  questions like, “What is the meaning of life?” “Why am I here?” “ Whom did I come from?” Those who have been catechized from the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechism as children, aye, even those who have come to the Reformed faith later in life know the answers to these questions. Pretty much anyone who has the read the Bible and paid attention to its teaching could give an answer to these questions and would arrive very close to the mark. The first question the Shorter Catechism ask the question and gives a succinct answer, “Q: What is the chief end of man? A: The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”. Indeed, we also know we came from Adam who was created by God from the dust of the ground. We like to think we know what our purpose is on the earth and that is to further the Kingdom of Christ.

However, often when a well-to-do Christian is told from a sermon or lecture to further the Kingdom of Christ, they are left with a feeling of urgency but without the feeling of uncertainty. What does it mean to further Christ’s Kingdom? They feel they need to dedicate their life to this purpose often with grave sincerity and conviction, but the specifics seem foggy at times. Does furthering the Kingdom of Christ mean becoming an evangelist or a missionary to some foreign country? Perhaps some well-meaning fundamentalist Baptists thinks handing out tracts fulfills this purpose, to some degree. But what saith the Scripture?

There is much focus in evangelicalism on evangelism. Although, indeed, the methods that are employed differ from denomination to denomination and even from church to church, there is a general understanding that furthering the Kingdom of Christ primarily means preaching the Gospel to individuals. I do not wish to overlook this important aspect of evangelism, for it is certainly taught in Scripture. But the furtherance of the Kingdom of Christ is not as narrow as that. Christ is not just concerned with the individual; He is also concerned with the family, the Church and the State. In short, because Christ is Lord of all, He is concerned with every aspect of life. Thus, to ask the question, “How do I further the Kingdom of Christ” would be more comprehensively understood in the questions, “How do I further the Kingdom of Christ in my family?” “ How do I further the Kingdom of Christ in my culture” What about the economy (Yes, the Bible has something to say about that as well!)? 20th century Christian scholar J. Gresham Machen wrote,

“The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of all connection with Christianity. Christianity must pervade not merely all nations, but also all of human thought. The Christian, therefore, cannot be indifferent to any branch of earnest human endeavor. It must all be brought into some relation to the Gospel. It must be studied either in order to be demonstrated as false, or else in order to be made useful in advancing the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom must be advanced not merely extensively but also intensively. The church must seek to conquer not merely every man for Christ, but also the whole man” [1]

We don't mind waiting for the rapture....

It is a truncated Gospel that says that the Kingdom of God only has to do with the individual and their personal piety. Piety is not just individual; it is familial, cultural and societal. Christ redeems the whole man, as Machen said. This means you do not have any area of life where God does not have something to say. There is no aspect of life where we may claim original authority over. God is concerned, yes, with your personal piety, but He is also concerned with how you deal with your family. How is it structured? Is it biblical? How about your economics/finances? Is it biblical? What about your church? Did you even care to study the Scriptures to see if God had given some directive in these areas? What about the culture and the State? Is not Christ Lord of all? Are we so selfish that we would let the world go to hell as long as we can be sure that we will be raptured in some sort of glorious moment? Are we so focused on evangelizing individuals that we don’t care that our institutions and the next generation go to hell? Machen said it rightly, “The church has no right to be so absorbed in helping the individual that she forgets the world.”[2]

...while everything else goes to hell.

We are not to apathetically let the culture and society go to their utter ruin as if it was no concern of ours. Unfortunately, because of a false eschatology, many are rejoicing when they see apostasy increase because they think this is evidence that they will soon be raptured away by Jesus. It is evidence of something, however, namely, that the church of Jesus Christ is a failing in her commission to be salt and light in the world. We are responsible for the direction of culture and society, just as we are responsible for the direction of our lives and our families. We are sinning against God. Don’t expect a rapture; expect that we will be judged for our sloth. We need to get our act together.

In closing, we are not advancing the Kingdom of God unless we are actively being salt and light in the world. Salt in terms of its ancient (and not so ancient) function as a preservative agent. So what is furthering the Kingdom? Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” It is furthering God’s righteousness in every aspect of human experience, in every aspect of life and in every institution. Unless we start realizing this, we will be chastised sore for our ungodly family structure, our wicked economic system and our tyrannical state government. God has something to say about all of these and much more. Although it is our desire to delineate these for you, our reader, to the best of our ability, you must study the Scriptures and see them as your wisdom in every area of life.

– Jesse Murch

____________________________________________

[1]  Machen, Education, Christianity And The State, pg. 50

[2] Ibid., 52

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